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Title: The decorative metalwork of Pablo Picasso : his collaboration with François Hugo
Author: Finn, Clare
ISNI:       0000 0004 2729 714X
Awarding Body: Royal College of Art
Current Institution: Royal College of Art
Date of Award: 2004
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This study recounts the history of the collaboration between Pablo Picasso and François Hugo that resulted in the making of a series of platters and dishes or compotiers, vases and plaques in silver and iron and brass. It gives the work a context by discussing Picasso's life and the specific events immediately before the collaboration got underway, his predilection for collaborative work in the 19505 and early 19605, his opportunist tendencies, his early work in silver and gold as well as the circumstances of François Hugo's life before they collaborated. How the pieces were made and the manner in which technical problems were tackled are described in detail, as are aspects of both Hugo's and Picasso's lives that affected their work during this period. The true extent of Picasso's involvement in this work and the decision-making process is established, it also defines exactly which pieces he asked Hugo to make for him and in what order along with a great number of the working practicalities that relate to the running of the collaboration are also established. These include the nature and surprisingly large number of subcontracts involved, the wide geographical distances covered, how long Hugo took to make individual pieces, costings for the work and the financial arrangements made between Picasso and Hugo. The changes the collaboration brought about in Hugo's life are described, as are his attempts to publicise and exhibit the work he undertook for Picasso. The influence his own financial arrangements had on their work and its influence on the end of collaboration are examined and which pieces he made 'after' Picasso are established. The second part of the study examines Picasso's overall approach to the work and proposes motives for him undertaking it Comparisons are made between this collaboration and others he undertook both in sculpture and printmaking and it seeks to show what light this collaboration with Hugo sheds on Picasso's other artistic collaborations. The way he dealt with money in this collaboration is also looked at. The silver pieces are placed within the context of Picasso's oeuvre as a whole, and are linked to work contemporary with them, particularly to his ceramics, and to that produced over the rest of his career. Possible sources and underlying themes that Picasso addressed in the work are examined and his attitude to qualities inherent in silver and his approach to its display are discussed. This study is complemented by a fully illustrated catalogue raisonne, (in Vol. 3), and all the unpublished documentation relating directly to the collaboration are included, both in the original French and in English translation, in Appendix IIi & Iliii, Vol. 2. However, in the present stage of knowledge it is impossible to produce an equivalent catalogue raisonne for Picasso's jewellery.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available